Signs Of Teenage Depression
Depression in teens can go unrecognized by parents for quite some time because of all the emotional ups and downs that can normally occur when young people are experiencing the changes incurred by puberty. About four out of every one hundred teens experiences clinical depression, and many of them don't get the treatment they need. When this condition goes untreated, it can get worse, last longer, and keep the teenager from enjoying a time in life when teenagers should be having fun while they're learning to be adults.
Signs of teenage depression for parents and teens to be aware of are: Crying a lot, sadness that doesn't go away; loss of self-confidence, feelings of worthlessness or undeserved guilt; life seems meaningless; perpetual negative attitude, lack of feelings; loss of interest in activities and people one used to enjoy, desire to be alone too much; lack of concentration; loss of temper over little things; sleeplessness; loss of appetite; restless and tired most of the time; frequent thoughts of death and dying, perhaps even suicide. Depression in teens can cause a lot of pain--physical, as well as emotional and psychological.
Teens need to know there is help for the problem, so if a teen believes he's depressed, he should talk to someone. Hopefully, they have the kind of relationship with their parents that will lead them to talk to Mom and Dad first. If that doesn't work, though, a school counselor, family doctor, clergyman, or a mental health professional will listen and offer help. Sometimes signs of teenage depression are viewed as weakness or failure, so there is a reluctance to talk about it to someone else. Of course that isn't true. Being depressed simply means a person is in need of treatment.
Counseling (psychotherapy) by a psychologist, and sometimes counseling with medication can help most depression in teens. Counseling means talking about feelings with a trained mental health professional who can help a client to change the thoughts, behaviors, and even relationships that are causing the depression. When in a depressed state, a person sees only the bad things in his life. Talking about those things that seem so awful can change a person's perspective and open his eyes to the things around him that are good while figuring out what to do about the problems. Parents or other adults who recognize the signs of teenage depression should steer a teen to help right away when those symptoms are identified.
There are a lot of traumas in life that can cause depression in teens. A divorce can be very upsetting, the death of a loved one or other family crisis can put a teen in a depressed state, and of course breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend can make a teen feel depressed. Any of these problems can make a teen think their life is ruined forever. With counseling they can come to realize that although these things are bad, they are survivable. Life will go on and will even get better. There are times when none of those things have happened, but the signs of teenage depression occur anyway. When that happens, medication with counseling is most likely the answer. Also, when the condition gets severe or disabling, antidepressant medications will help, along with the counseling. Relief is usually accomplished in just a few weeks.
Thoughts of suicide are sometimes the result of a severe depressed state. If a person is having those kinds of thoughts, it is extremely important that he seeks help. When a person hears this mentioned by a friend, he should never presume the friend will get over it, or that those feelings will pass, because the result could be tragic. One should always presume that taking action on suicidal thoughts is a possibility and do whatever possible to protect that friend from himself. Steering a teen to counseling, or telling his parents may save a life. Treating depression in teens, and thus avoiding tragedy, is especially important because a teenager has so much life yet to live if they can just learn how to get past their difficulties. For the Christian teen, there is solace and encouragement found in faith. "Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all. (2Timothy 3:16)
Sometimes alcohol or other drugs are added to the troubles encountered through depression. Whether drugs or alcohol are used as an escape from the depressed state of mind, or the signs of teenage depression are caused by the drugs or alcohol doesn't matter. The important point is if both of those difficulties exist, the sooner the sufferer is helped, the better. It is important for young people to realize that telling an adult about a friend who might be depressed is not betraying a trust. They also need to understand that a depressed person does not think clearly, and likely won't seek help themselves. Another point for young people to understand is that the myth that talking about this problem makes it worse. Talking leads to understanding and resolution. When young people are aware, they can help each other.
Causes Of Teen DepressionCauses of teen depression might include stress from school or dysfunction in the home. Many things can contribute to this unhappy and empty condition. An illness may lead to feelings of hopelessness and stress. Losing a family member or the breakup of a close relationship might contribute to causes of teenage stress, or a physiological illness such as bipolar disorder or maniac depression may be causes. A specialist should be consulted if this condition is suspected. Treatment should include trying to understand the reason or reasons. Once the reason has been established a program can be implemented leading to healing for depression symptoms as well as the cause. Sometimes parents are so busy with their own lives that they don't see the symptoms of this illness manifested by their children, at least not at first. Communication is very important and leading a godly life in front of children. Through Christian teachings and examples children will have hope for this devastating illness. Christ offers healing to everyone who asks.
Stress from school may be considered one of the major causes of teen depression. Receiving bad grades in a certain subject may put tremendous pressure on a youth. Sometimes parents may put stress upon a teen because they want them to excel in school. There is nothing wrong with having high expectations for a child. However, a child may be doing their very best and still having problems with grades in school. Parents need to be aware of difficulties faced by children. Communication is very important. Peer pressure in school along with dealing with difficulties at home might bring on cases of unwarranted sadness or lack of contact with the world. If depression is suspected then action needs to be taken towards finding alternatives to initiate healing for depression and to seek out Christian alternatives and counseling. Putting Christ in the forefront of the problems faced will bring relief and peace in the midst of a storm. Click here to take a bible quiz about this condition.
Sickness may be included as one of the causes for teen depression. Everything always seems darker when sick, especially if the illness is serious. If a child suffers constantly with an illness, look for signs of excessive unhappiness or withdrawal. Some of the signs might include anger, changes in appetite, drop in grades at school, fatigue, feelings of despair, insomnia, spending more time alone, using drugs and alcohol, and sleeping more. To find healing for depression do a search on the Internet. There are Christian organizations that are available with advice and offer counseling. Programs vary and should be discussed in depth with a professional. Think about the power of prayer when deciding on healing for depression. Encourage a child to pray and seek God and take him or her to church. Fellowship with other Christians helps each one to realize that there are others who care.
A death in the family may also bring about symptoms of teenage stress and uncontrollable sadness. Missing the deceased so much can sometimes cause feelings of anger, being unreasonably upset, and excessively lonely. It is important to reach to Christ when experiencing these kinds of feelings. Sometimes people reach for other things first, such as drugs or alcohol. Maybe they bring temporary relief to the hurting, but they find that the affect those products bring is only temporary and contribute to the causes of teen depression. Christ can give peace that surpasses all understanding, a peace that will last, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27). Jesus rebuked the storm for his disciples while they were sailing for Galilee. He spoke to the storm and it became still. Pray and ask Him to speak to the storm of depression today. Even if it seems as though the storm still rages, He can give each adult and teen peace in the midst of any storm and He will if asked and bring healing.
Bipolar disorder or maniac depressive disorder could both be manifestations of depression. Symptoms of bipolar disorder include dramatic mood swings. These mood swings are usually extreme highs and lows. Increased energy, and restlessness along with extreme irritability may also be exhibited by a youth that has bipolar disorder or maniac depressive disorder. Causes of teen depression through bipolar disorder are attributed to chemical imbalances in the brain. There are no lab tests that can diagnose bipolar disorder. It must be diagnosed through symptoms and family history. It can be inherited. Watch for suicidal signs from a teen that is showing signs of depression. Medication may be given to your teen to provide relief. However, if an anti-depressant is prescribed, it is vital to watch the teen closely for suicidal signs. Anti-depressants have had some controversies associated with them, especially being prescribed to children, so be aware of the side effects of these drugs. Ask God for wisdom in getting the help that is needed for recovery.